Leftovers are always one of the best parts of Thanksgiving and, after Thursday’s performance, you can probably count Texas A&M as a team that may have had too much of them before hitting the field.
The Aggies looked like they were in the middle of a holiday food coma most of the game as the team struggled to stop LSU in a lopsided 54-39 loss to further the team’s November slide.
Tigers tailback Derrius Guice continued to look like one of the best players in the country even if he was just a fill-in for injured starter Leonard Fournette. The sophomore broke Fournette’s school single game record (set just last month) by rushing for 285 yards and four touchdowns on the night.
Not to be completely out done, quarterback Danny Etling turned in perhaps the best performance of his career — certainly the best in an LSU uniform — by throwing for 324 yards and two touchdowns. The LSU backfield remarkably topped 300 yards through the air and 200 on the ground for the first time in school history.
Etling’s opposite number Trevor Knight didn’t have quite those numbers in his first start in nearly three weeks after injuring his shoulder against Mississippi State. The signal-caller finished just 14-of-30 for 211 yards but did throw for three touchdowns as A&M mounted a late comeback in the second half. The senior unfortunately didn’t finish the game as he had to be helped off to the sidelines in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.
Keith Ford chipped in 100 yards rushing for the Aggies while true freshman Trayveon Williams added another 63 and a touchdown.
The win was a big one for LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron to close out the regular season 5-2 under his watch. Whether that is enough to get the Louisiana native the permanent job remains in the air but most of the game was overshadowed by multiple reports regarding the school closing in on hiring Houston head coach Tom Herman.
The program ended up releasing two different in-game statements denying reports that they have concluded their coaching search but it will undoubtedly to be the talk around Baton Rouge as to what direction the Tigers’ brass takes over the next few days.
At the same time, speculation will only increase that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin could be on the hot seat himself after yet another late season slide. The Aggies were No. 4 in the initial College Football Playoff standings but will enter December wondering what the future holds after dropping four of their last six to finish 8-4.
Former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris has found himself a new home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Harris announced via Facebook and Twitter he has chosen to commit to North Carolina.
“Obviously, it has been an important time for me, looking for a great situation and another opportunity to grow as a young man and as a student as well as a football player,” Harris said in his statement. “After my [official] visit this weekend to the University of North Carolina, I’m going to get that opportunity. With that being said, I’m fully committed to UNC this upcoming year and I look forward to the opportunity to play for coach [Larry Fedora] and UNC.”
Harris will be eligible to play for UNC immediately this fall after graduating from LSU this summer, and the timing may not be better for Harris. UNC is losing its starting quarterback (Mitch Trubisky) to the NFL and has a wide open spot to fill in the starting lineup as a result. But the job will not automatically go to Harris upon his arrival at UNC after missing out on spring practices at North Carolina.
Harris played in just four games last season, in which he passed for 139 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Since the season-opener against Wisconsin, Harris was reduced to backup duty and did not play in any of LSU’s seven final games of the 2016 season, including the bowl game against Louisville. Harris announced his decision to transfer in February, which was pretty much expected given how last season played out amid a coaching change.
Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley has not been practicing this spring, but it has nothing to do with his offseason misdemeanor from a couple of weeks ago. Instead, a foot injury appears to have sidelined Ridley for the spring.
According to a report from Gridiron Now, Ridley has been out due to the foot injury. When the foot injury occurred is not reported. Even if his foot was not injured, it remains unknown if Ridley would be participating int he spring, at least at this point. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has said Ridley will be internally disciplined for his misdemeanor pot possession from earlier this month.
“He’ll receive discipline,” Smart said. “We are very disappointed in his decision. We do not condone that behavior. I think Riley is going to learn a valuable lesson from this mistake.”
When Ridley may be available again remains unknown, as does what exactly the punishment to him will be from Smart. A one-game suspension is the expected result for Ridley according to the university’s student-athlete handbook.
USF defensive back Hassan Childs was injured in a shooting incident overnight. Fortunately, Childs is currently said to be in stable condition, according to USF.
“We are deeply concerned that an incident occurred overnight in which one of our guys, Hassan Childs, was injured in a shooting,” a statement from USF head coach Charlie Strong said. “Thankfully, Hassan is in stable condition and being well cared for, and no one else was injured. There is an ongoing investigation of the incident and we are in the process of gathering further information.”
The shooting took place off campus, but details about the incident have not been reported.
Childs played in eight games for the Bulls last year. He recorded 16 tackles and returned two punts for three yards in a backup role.
The Atlanta Braves opened the doors to their brand new baseball stadium over the weekend to fans as the baseball team gets ready to open the 2017 season in their new digs. Meanwhile, at the old home of the Braves, Georgia State University is moving along according to schedule in downsizing and renovating Turner Field to serve as the permanent home of the football program. So far, so good, as the university fully anticipates the stadium will be ready to go for the season opener on August 31 against Tennessee State.
“The job that’s being done is incredible,” Athletic Director Charlie Cobb told 11Alive. “Each and every time I walk in, I see something new being done.”
Renovation and construction at Turner Field got started in February. The entire project will be done in phases as the university plans to develop around thew football stadium for an expanding university. As far as the stadium goes, the seating capacity will be retrofitted to hold a capacity of 23,000 fans. That will be the first phase of the master plan, with a second phase to complete building the rest of the stadium and add additional seating for fans.
“We plan on doing some unique things capturing the history of the stadium, but also creating a football facility that speaks to Georgia State,” Cobb said. “One of the stories we want to tell is the fact that it went from being an Olympic venue, to the home of the Braves, and now to the home of Georgia State. I think we can write that third chapter.”
Georgia State previously played its home games in the Georgia Dome, the now former home of the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. The Falcons are also moving into a new football stadium this season. The Falcons’ new home at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also welcome some college football action to the stadium this season with the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff will move to the new stadium from the Georgia Dome. This year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff features Alabama and Florida State on September 2 and Georgia Tech and Tennessee on September 4. The SEC Championship Game and the Peach Bowl will also be hosted in the new stadium and the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played there on January 8, 2018.
Georgia State may have their new home, but perhaps one day they will get to play in the new stadium too.